Indonesia to repatriate four smuggled orangutans from Thailand

Jakarta (ANTARA News) – The Indonesian government is preparing a plan to repatriate four orangutans that were smuggled and then found in Songkla and Patchburi Provinces, Thailand.

Environment and Forestry Ministrys General Director of Law Enforcement Rasio Ridho Sani said in a press statement received by ANTARA here on Sunday, that the plan would be the the second attempt after the last repatriation of 14 orangutans from Thailand in 2015.

Currently, the Indonesian Embassy in Bangkok has been working with related authorities in some locations in Thailand to facilitate the repatriation of orangutans to Indonesia.

The statement was made during the Indonesian delegations attendance at the Asian-African Convention on Illegal Trade on Endangered Species in Bangkok on July 5, 2017.

During the event, Rasio Ridho Sani and some ministrys officials, also a political counselor at the Indonesian Embassy in Bangkok had a chance to visit Khao Pratubchangs Animal Quarantine Center in Ratchabury, where the four orangutans had been saved, including two baby orangutans that were smuggled in a suitcase.

So far, the four orangutans were believed came from Sumatra Island and entered Thailand through Malaysia.

Hence, Sani noted that the rescue and repatriation of smuggled endangered and protected species need cooperation among countries in order to cut off the transnational chain of smugglers movement and their market.

Sani also appreciated the Thai governments support in conducting legal actions for the smugglers and related criminals.

“We will continue to combat this organized crime to save our biodiversity, this is a commitment of the government and a direct order from the Environment and Forestry Minister, Siti Nurbaya,” he said.

Separately, the Ministrys Director of Biodiversity Conservation Dahono Adji said that the transnational illegal trade had increased the threat for protected animals to survive in their habitat.

“The ministry has also repatriated some orangutans from Kuwait and Malaysia,” he said.

Besides orangutans, the Environment and Forestry has listed some protected animals are also targeted in the illegal trade, namely pig-nosed turtles, pangolins, slow lorises, and tigers.

Source: Antara News